Stepladder Ranch and Creamery
Distribution Hub Creator, Business Development Manager
My most recent hustle has been working closely with Jack and Michelle of Stepladder Ranch and Creamery to develop an urban distribution hub for their ranch in Cambria. I have long respected Jack and Michelle, as they are truly dedicated to the hard work of increasing the biodiversity and overall health of Jack’s grandfathers’ ranch. In six years time, they have incorporated additional crops including subtropical fruit, started raising pigs, cattle and goats, as well as built a dairy where they hand make gorgeous cow and goat’s milk cheeses. The biodiversity of the farm has increased the overall health of the land, and their slow but steady transition to organic practices has been a joy to be a part of. After all this work, however, they were left with the question of how to move all this good food.
Jack approached me in May of 2016 wondering if I would be interested in helping him answer this question. The problem of completing the last leg of distribution was one I was familiar with from my work at Good Eggs; I immediately started hustling to create systems that would allow them to stay on the ranch making cheese and managing their orchards while increasing access to Bay Area markets. Since then, we have built a model that has made it possible for Stepladder’s cheese, avocados, pork and beef to have a consistent presence on menus, at farmers’ markets, and in independent grocery stores across the Bay. The small warehouse operation in San Leandro allows Stepladder to efficiently store, market, sell, and distribute the diverse range of products coming off the ranch.
After 3 years of hustling, Stepladder Ranch and Creamery is now a staple in the Bay Area's local food community, employing five stellar team members to help run the farmers’ market program, and feeding thousands of families each week. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, and look forward to seeing the business continue to thrive as we set up systems that will last for decades.